These are my favorite fiction stories and nonfiction children’s books to share with kids in the classroom and at home all about the fall season…
Read fall picture books aloud to your children (while you enjoy a pumpkin spice latte!), and they’ll learn all about the autumn season — the characteristics of the autumn weather, harvest, animals, and changes in the landscape.
Wonderful Fall Picture Books
Counting on Fall by Lizann Flatt illustrated by Ashley Barron
Not only did I love the cut-paper collages but this book is also a very engaging nature-themed math picture book. The page with the pronghorn antelope asks us to count by twos. We did — there are 90. The monarch butterflies page asks us to count the butterflies by tens. Fewer, less, part to whole, first and last, and how to make 10 are just some of the math concepts in this beautiful picture book.
The Leaf Thief by Alice Hemming, illustrated by Nicola Salter
Kids will love this darling story about a worried squirrel who thinks that SOMEONE is stealing his tree’s leaves. Even though his friend Bird tries to help him, Squirrel doesn’t seem to understand the seasonal change that the fall season brings –like leaves changing color and wind blowing them off the trees. It’s funny and illuminating — and will spark helpful discussions about the characteristics of fall– with a hint of a winter surprise at the end.
Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson, illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke
Oh, my goodness, this is one of the sweetest stories you’ll read! It’s a story of friendship (with a tree), kindness, and learning about nature. Each morning when Fletcher bounds out of the den, he notices the leaves on his favorite tree turning dull and brown which his mother explains is a sign of autumn. Fletcher tells his tree not to worry that it will get better. But then a leaf falls off. Fletcher catches it, putting it back as best he can. It gets worse with the wind and a squirrel and a porcupine make off with leaves, too. Fletcher feels distressed until he sees the birds use the leaves to build nests in the tree. Eventually, Fletcher understands about winter when he sees the tree adorned in beautiful, wintery crystals.
The Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert
Don’t miss this must-read fall leaf story about a Leaf Man who is blown by the wind over sights that are also made from leaves — like the turkey and fish in the river. After you read, make your own Leaf Man story using leaf collage illustrations.
Sleep Tight Farm: A Farm Prepares for Winter by Eugenie Doyle, illustrated by Becca Stadtlander
The evocative words in this picture book give readers a cozy feeling. The author’s repetition of “good night” as the farming family buttons up for winter feels like a lullaby. “Good night, fields, peaceful and still.” Watch as the family works together to cut wood, fix the chicken coop, store equipment, and do these things that get the farm ready for “down quilts of snow.”
Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter by Kenard Pak
“Hello” begins each page’s text. Hello, robins and cardinals who are ready to fly south and deer, whose fur is thickening up for winter. Say hello to the evergreens whose pine-needle branches “shiver in the wind while you sleep.” Slowly the illustrations shift from fall to snowy white winter and so does the text. Now you’ll say hello to frost and icicles. And goodbye to autumn. The descriptive words create a lovely, cozy ambiance.
Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak
As the girl and her dog walk through the forest and town, she greets the living creatures she sees, trees, foxes, insects, . . . and they share with the girl what they are doing as the season turns cooler.
Because of an Acorn by Lola M. Schaefer and Adam Schaefer, illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon
Simple wisdom shows nature’s interconnectedness. Acorns turn into trees. Birds carry seeds that turn into flowers. Flowers turn into fruit which squirrels eat. Gorgeous muted, earthy illustrations.
“Because of an acorn,
a tree. . .
Because of a seed,
My Leaf Book by Monica Wellington
You’re going to have fun with this fall-themed book because it’s about a girl looking at leaves, learning about each, and using them to make a leaf book. I can’t imagine not wanting to make a leaf book of your own as soon as you’re done reading it. The girl learns about not just trees and leaf types but the different properties of leaves. Gorgeous!
Amara’s Farm by JaNay Brown-Wood, illustrated by Samara Hardy
Learn about pumpkins with Amara who needs to harvest pumpkins. As she searches the farm, we learn about the features of pumpkins with our own search and find and compare and contrast. For example, “A pumpkin is large and round. Is that a pumpkin? // No. That’s an apple. An apple is round, but not large like a pumpkin.” A good book to read aloud for fall harvest season.
In the Middle of Fall by Kevin Henkes, illustrated by Laura Dronzek
Henkes sets the scene of fall from the colors of red, brown, and orange to the sights of pumpkins and apples and leaves falling from trees. Lovely, peaceful, and perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.
Apple Farmer Annie
Annie is an apple farmer. Some apples she uses for apple cider, muffins, and applesauce. Others, the most beautiful, she sells at the Farmer’s Market. Two sentences per page make this a perfect story for all ages but especially preschoolers. Colorful illustrations with decorative borders draw readers into the story with all the details to see. And, you’ll find three delicious apple recipes at the end of the book.
A Pile of Leaves by Jason Fulford & Tamara Shopsin
There are no words in this picture book, only see-through pages with leaves, bugs, and fall things in one fall color. Each page layers upon the other. What’s on the green page? A small leaf, a bigger leaf, and a grasshopper. Underneath, you can see the orange and red pages of more leaves and things. What are those? Can you guess before you turn the page?
Wonderfall by Michael Hall
Using the word “fall”, Hall playfully shows us the many sides of a tree, particularly in the season of fall when the leaves turn colors and fall off. The tree is forcefall, dutifall, plentifall, eventfall, and even wistfall.
We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger
Inspired by the “Going on a Bear Hunt” song, read this before you go on your own leaf hunt to find colorful leaves.
Leaves by David Ezra Stein
Sweet, simple, and lovely! Bear notices the trees’ leaves falling and becomes concerned. He tries to catch them all to put them back but can’t do it. Getting sleepy, he gathers the leaves and stuffs them into his cave where he falls asleep on his leafy bed. Winter comes. Then spring. And he awoke to the buds and new leaves.
Lawrence in the Fall by Matthew Farina, illustrated by Doug Salati
The teacher’s assignment is to bring something you collect. Everyone has something to bring except Lawrence. His Papa takes him for a walk in the forest. Looking around, Lawrence notices a beautiful leaf. He collects more unique leaves. On show and tell day, his classmates pick leaves to take home. The back page shows different kinds of leaves to inspire your own leaf collection. Gorgeous, textured illustrations!
The Gigantic Turnip by Aleksei Tolstoy, Niamh Sharkey, and Imelda Staunton
The illustrations are so amazing, they’re the perfect tone for this delightful folktale. An old man and an old woman plant many vegetables. The vegetables grow and get harvested, all except for the turnip because it’s so gigantic. Since the couple can’t pull it out themselves, they ask one farm animal after another to help, making a long chain of pullers. Finally, they ask the last, smallest creature to help — a mouse. And what do you think happens? It comes out! And everyone has turnip stew for dinner. Just goes to show us that even the littlest can help.
Oak Leaf by John Sandford
Beautiful illustrations for a beautiful story! Follow along as a leaf from an Oak tree leaves the tree and flies over barns and trains, gusts over a lady, and after more adventures, finally is caught by a little girl, pressed into her book.
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